Trial of Jack (slave of Caty Whitehead estate)
September 1, 1831 - Transported
[p. 72] At a court of Oyer and Terminer summoned and held for the County of Southampton at the Courthouse on the 31st day of August 1831 for the trial of Daniel, a negro man slave the property of Richard Porter, Jack, the property of Everett Bryant, Moses, the property of Thomas Barrow, Tom, late the property of Caty Whitehead, Jack, late the property of Caty Whitehead, Andrew, late the property of Caty Whitehead, Davy, late the property of Elizabeth Turner, Stephen, the property of Thomas Ridley, and Curtis, the property of Thomas Ridley, charged with feloniously consulting, advising & conspiring with each other and divers other slaves to rebel and make insurrection and making insurrection and taking the lives of divers free white persons of this Commonwealth—
Present: Jeremiah Cobb, James D. Massenburg, Alexander P. Peete, James Trezvant and Orris A. Browne. Gent. Justices.
Meriwether B. Broadnax, attorney for the Commonwealth filed an information against the prisoners above mentioned [struck through: and the court doth appoint William C. Parker, Esq., Att. at Law to defend the prisoners.]
[p. 73] Jack the late property of Caty Whitehead named in the said information was then set to the bar in custody of the Jailor of this County and being arraigned of the premises pleaded not guilty to the information. Whereupon for reasons [p. 74] appearing to the Court the trial of the said Jack is adjourned till tomorrow.
[p. 74] At a Court of Oyer and Terminer continued by adjournment and held for the County of Southampton on the first day of September 1831 for the trial of Moses a slave late the property of Thomas Barrow, Jack late the property of Caty Whitehead, Andrew late the property of Caty Whitehead, Davy late the property of Elizabeth Turner, Stephen the property of Thomas Ridley, Curtis the property of Thomas Ridley, and Jack the property of Everitt Bryant charged with having on the 22d day of August 1831 at this County feloniously consulted, advised and conspired with each other and with divers other slaves to rebel and make insurrection and for making insurrection and taking the lives of divers free white persons of the Commonwealth.
Present. Carr Bowers, James D. Massenburg, James W. Parker, James Trezvant and Orris A. Browne, Gent. Justices.
Jack a negro slave late the property of Caty Whitehead who hath been heretofore arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the information filed against the said Jack and others was again led to the bar in custody of the Jailor of this County, and
Venus a negro slave was sworn charged and examined as a witness for the Commonwealth and deposes as follows. That the prisoner Jack with one other slave of Mrs. Whitehead named Andrew came to her the witness’ master’s house Mr. Rich[ar]d Porter's on Monday before the last at about 9 o’clock in the morning & said all the white people had been killed and inquired if the negroes had killed their white people there, she told them they had not for they were gone before the negroes got there, They then enquired where the black people were (meaning the negroes that had been there, and were in insurrection). She told them they had gone, the prisoner and Andrew said they were going on after them, that the negroes had left word for them to go on after them and they did not know what else to do, and they went off, the witness understood that the prisoner and Andrew were going to join the insurgents they were both on one horse.
Hubbard a slave being charged and sworn says the negroes came to his mistresses and murdered her and family. That the prisoner and two other negroes belonging to his mistress went from home. After sometime the prisoner & Andrew returned and asked if the negroes were gone and the prisoner and Andrew caught a horse and rode off. The Witness thought they went to join the insurgents. The prisoner appeared to be much distressed.
[p. 75] Wallace a negro slave being charged and sworn as a witness on behalf of the prisoner states that he was at home at the house of his mistress Mrs. Caty Whitehead, when a band of insurgent negroes rode up. Jack and Andrew ran off before any murder was committed—went off and returned several hours after much distressed and said they had been to Mr. Booths and Mr. Powells, the prisoner and Andrew appeared greatly grieved but took a horse and rode off.
Thomas Hathcock a free man of colour being charged and sworn as a witness for the prisoner—says the prisoner and Andrew came to his house, asked what they should do, much grieved—and went with him to several houses–
George Booth also a witness for the prisoner being sworn says that the prisoner and Andrew came to his house, told him of the massacre, and said “Lord have mercy upon them for they know not what they do—”
James Powell also a witness for the prisoner being sworn says he found the prisoner and Andrew at his house, they came when called very humble, and much grieved—they went with him to the Cross Keys and were there taken into custody.
The Court after hearing the testimony and the prisoner by James S. French Esq. assigned counsel for the prisoner in his defense, are unanimously of opinion that the prisoner is guilty in manner and form as in the information against him is set forth. And it being demanded of the prisoner if anything for himself he had or knew to say why the Court should not proceed to pronounce judgment against him and nothing being offered or alleged in delay of judgment it is considered by the Court that the prisoner be taken hence to the place from whence he came there to be safely kept until Monday the twelfth day of September instant, on which day between the hours of nine o’clock in the forenoon and two o’clock in the afternoon the prisoner is to be taken by the Sheriff to the usual place of execution and there be hanged by the neck until he is dead. And the court values the said Jack to the sum of four hundred and fifty dollars—and the Court for sufficient reasons appearing doth recommend to the Governor to commute punishment of the prisoner—
Court Minute Book, Southampton County, Virginia, 1830-1835:
Full Trial Transcripts
Aug. 31, 1831
Sept. 1, 1831
Sept. 2, 1831
Sept. 3, 1831
Sept. 5, 1831
Sept. 6, 1831
Sept. 7, 1831
Sept. 8, 1831
Sept. 19, 1831
Sept. 20, 1831
Sept. 21, 1831
Sept. 22, 1831
Sept. 28, 1831
Oct. 18, 1831
Nov. 5, 1831
Nov. 21, 1831